I know this is a complicated matter, and the best bet would be to contact a tax professional, but I was hoping that some other members might have some experience in this area and could maybe provide some guidance or insight, however anecdotal.

Earlier this year I was granted a Permanent Residency Visa based on my relationship with a NZ Citizen, who has been out of the country for many years and is not currently considered "tax resident" in New Zealand. Now that we are planning to make the move, we are considering buying a home prior to actually relocating. (Yes, I'm aware of the recent change in legislation regarding homeownership, I've read the policies, and it shouldn't be an issue for us as she is a full NZ citizen.)

My question is, if we buy a house in NZ before we actually relocate there, with the intention of making it our permanent abode--does that constitute establishment of a "permanent place of abode" and make us tax resident? Or would that not happen until we actually relocate to New Zealand?

Is this the kind of question I could just ring up IRD and ask with a reasonable expectation to get an answer?

I am also aware of the 49-month worldwide tax exclusions available to new immigrants and long-absent returning citizens. This question is more about the acquisition of "tax residency" status itself, not whether or not I'll be effectively subject to tax.

Thanks in advance,